Archive for the ‘materials’ Category

The Iliad by Jane Morris Pack

apollo_webJane Morris Pack details her investigations into three-dimensional space and figurative painting from classical Greek artifacts at the Aegean Center blog.

Posted by admin on 03/06/09 under artists,contests/projects,materials,studio life,technique,the art of living,video
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Ponoko is a very cool service from New Zealand that takes your designs and laser cuts them on demand into a variety of materials like acrylic, felt, wood, and cardboard. I decided to try out the service with some images from public domain books available on the web to make a variety of acrylic jewelry, keychains, and hair sticks (hey, hair sticks are infinitely useful. You can poke people with them in addition to keeping your hair tied back).

I downloaded their templates for Inkscape, a free vector graphics program that creates .svg files. Then I found a public domain book called Rambles of an Archaeologist Among Old Books and in Old Places by Frederick William Fairholt that had beautiful engravings of old jewelry designs, including a fascinating little Memento Mori ring that I thought would do quite nicely for Halloween.

I figured since I was paying for a full sheet of acrylic, I should probably cram it full of stuff. Plus, it gave me a chance to test the different engraving thicknesses as well as the exactness of sizing – ring sizes are precise to the millimeter, so I created three versions of the Memento Mori ring in ladies’ size 4, 5 and 6 to test. Then I added some images from L. Frank Baum’s Wizard of Oz series because I thought it would be super cool to have an Oz ornament hanging from our Christmas tree this year.

I uploaded my designs to my Ponoko account, then chose my materials  – in this case, white frosted acrylic. The interface of the Ponoko site just makes this process that much more fun. I finalized my order, then sat back to wait for the results.

I certainly wasn’t disappointed! The package showed up five days after my order was completed, and I was very very happy with what arrived – everything was exactly as I’d specified, even the mistake I made on the Oz ornament was fully intact. :D I quickly tried on the rings, then checked them against a sizing chart, and they were perfect. The engravings are a bit difficult to see on the material I chose, but I brushed India ink over one of the rings to “antique” it and it looks awesome.

Now my head is full of ideas for truly 3D creations, like picture frames and puzzles and lampshades. They’ve added a variety of new materials in the last week, like bamboo, and they have a GREAT blog with links to designers experimenting with laser cutters and custom manufactory.

Since I used public domain images for my designs, I made the .svg files I created available under the same (non) license, so you can download them for free at Ponoko and do whatever you like with them. If you make something with Ponoko, let me know, I’d love to see your work!

Posted by admin on 11/10/08 under artists,design,materials,sculpture
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The Daily Scrapbook

The photo above is from today's entry showcasing pages from Ellen Donovan's scrapbook (Liberty, MO)

A page from Ellen Donovan's scrapbook, with calling cards

From BoingBoing I discovered a sweet link to The Daily Scrapbook “a book and website by Jessica Helfland of Winterhouse Studio“. The book in question is called Scrapbooks: An American History and the posts on the Daily Scrapbook blog give us an amazing glimpse into this 425 page volume (as well as the collected ephemera of American lives over two hundred years).

Posted by admin on 09/30/08 under artists,everyday art,materials,the art of living
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mugs in blueberry


Skinny laMink creates lovely vintage mug tea towels! She also has some great concepts for ceramics, paper and vinyl. Great stuff.

Posted by admin on 06/16/08 under everyday art,materials,technique
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natalie wright

 natalie 1 natalie 2  

Inspiring illustrated type wallpapers by Natalie Wright! See more of her work over on good ol’ flickr. 

Posted by admin on 01/17/08 under artists,materials

paul hayes installations

paul installation 2

paul installation 1

Looking at the installation work of Paul Hayes makes my heart swell! It all feels so alive. I think most of it is done with paper.

I had trouble picking which images to feature. Look at more here.

Edited to add, Paul says:
I’m having an opening from 7-9pm on thursday, and the piece is the top one in that picture. It’s not quite finished, but it’s done in the last six photos on my flickr stream. It’s last minute, but anyone in San Francisco is welcome to show up. 555 Portola Drive, SF.

Posted by admin on 11/13/07 under artists,materials

Universal Leonardo: Create a Monster

Make a Monster, daVinci style, at the Universal Leonardo site.


Posted by admin on 09/21/07 under materials
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Today in Beauty

I haven’t really done a roundup style post before (it almost feels like cheating), but it seems like I’ve been hit from all sides today with beautiful and curious-making blog entries, so here we go:

From (via, we discover the work of Tim Knowles, who explores the imprints of motion and gives the power of painting to the trees. The tree in the photograph seems to reach toward the easel with a delicate hand. The result is ephemeral and stunning.


From ApartmentTherapy comes some amazing plasma cut pieces from Cal Lane. I am absolutely obsessed with the trend of silhouettes and baroque shapes that’s been around a few years – and these work tools formed into steel lacework sum it up for me. It’s the decadence of removing the utility from useful items.


(Given that I just spent all morning sifting through thousands of doily patterns left forgotten in the back of a closet, maybe it makes sense that I’m all about the metal doilies today). Gallery Page and Strange is showing Cal Lane’s works at Booth M-402 at the Affordable Art Fair in NYC this weekend.

Last up on the roundup of blogs is a grateful bow to the fine folks over at Rag & Bone bindery, whose blog is a daily inspiration and has introduced me to some amazing artists, while helping broaden my definition of “illustration.” Today’s hit (back on the theme of silhouettes) is Virginia Rose Kane, who uses collage, illustration, and paper-cutting techniques to create intricate paper stories.


Posted by Thomas James on 06/14/07 under artists,materials,technique
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The World’s Finest…

Guide to Watercolor Painting is by Bruce MacEvoy.

It may be self-proclaimed, but I do believe it. I could spend years reading it. Too many highlights to highlight. So just go and check it out.

At a time when I am getting bored of watercolors, this has been a refreshing find.

His other sites? A little quirky.

Posted by admin on 06/07/07 under materials,technique
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coloUr lovers – midnight salad

colour love

How cool is this? Colour Lovers, a site all about trends, palettes, and any other information you’d like to research about colour! Even rating colour palettes! The above palette is called ‘midnight salad’. Reading the titles makes me think about what it would be like to have the job to name colours.

I also love the use of u in colour. Hee. I’m a Canadian.

They also have some excellent features about different topics relating to colour on their blog.

Found via the skinny.

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Posted by Thomas James on 05/17/07 under design,materials
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